Passing Away of Structural and Geotechnical Giant of Asia









28 November 2021 (12:46 am)

Just about two hours ago, I was saddened by the receipt of an unwelcomed message that Professor Seng-Lip Lee, former Chairman of the Structural Engineering Division of the Asian Institute of Technology (AIT) during 1968-1975 has passed away at the age of 96. The following was a message from Prof KY Yong, who worked under Prof Seng Lip Lee at National University of Singapore (NUS) after he left AIT in 1975.

“I am sad to inform you of the passing of Emer Prof LEE Seng-Lip, our Past President, SEAGS – an educator, mentor and a friend to many of us – this morning, 27 November. The family of the late Seng Lip has requested to keep the funeral private and have invited only 12 former close friends and close NUS colleagues of Seng Lip to attend the cremation service on Monday 30 November. I will be attending the Monday service and will express on your behalf the condolences from SEAGS Past and Presidents, Past and Present SGs to the family of the late Seng-Lip. Please pray for Seng Lip in your own way. Bless his soul and may he rest in peace.”

It should be noted that structural engineering students at AIT during the golden period of 1968-1975 have significantly benefited from the strong world-class leadership of Prof Seng Lip Lee, not only from his brilliant lecture in the classroom but also from his professional and personal advices outside the classroom.

In my case, I was lucky and still feel very grateful for his guidance and recommendation leading to my award of the Fulbright Scholarship to continue my doctoral degree at University of California at Berkeley.

When his secondment term was over, he was recruited by National University of Singapore (NUS) in 1975 and has played an up-starting role in shaping NUS to be a world class university today. It was indeed an AIT’s loss and NUS’s gain.

Prof Lee is a visionary, always well ahead of his time, with deep insights of regional need for infrastructural development. He has contributed his innovative and creative solutions, in civil engineering education, research and development, and professional practice in Thailand, Singapore, Indonesia and the Philippines.

On behalf of his former AIT colleagues and students, I want to express our sincere gratitude as he has touched so many hearts, and opened so many minds at AIT. May his soul rest in eternal peace.

Professor Worsak Kanok-Nukulchai

Former President of AIT (2013-2018)